Text Only Version A | A | A

Numbers of families affected by two-child limit rises amid concerns about link with abortion numbers

  • Report published today shows 318,000 families are now affected by the government’s two-child limit policy, increasing by 67,000 over the last year. The policy now impacts over one million children.
  • There has been a disproportionate rise in the number of abortions for women with two or more children following the introduction of the two-child limit in 2016.
  • Information supplied by the Department of Health & Social Care in response to FOI requests shows that since 2016, the number of abortions performed to women with two or more existing children has risen by 24%, compared with an increase of 11% among women with one existing child.
  • BPAS says the two-child limit forces women and their families into a corner between increasing financial hardship or ending an otherwise wanted pregnancy, and calls on the government to revoke the policy as a matter of urgency.

Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS, said:

“The rapidly increasing number of families affected by this cruel and regressive policy is deeply concerning.

“We have warned the government that the two-child limit is forcing some women to end what would otherwise be wanted pregnancies. Since 2016, the number of abortions performed to women with two or more existing children has risen by 24%, compared with an increase of 11% performed to women with one existing child.

“The policy assumes that couples are always able to neatly plan pregnancies with the use of contraception, and that they can also plan their financial circumstances for the 18 years following the birth of their child. Even prior to the pandemic, this was far from the case.

“Especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deepened already-existing inequality and created huge economic uncertainty, the two-child limit forces women and their families into a corner between increasing financial hardship or ending a wanted pregnancy. We call on the government to revoke the policy as a matter of urgency.”

ENDS

About BPAS:

BPAS is a charity which sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here.

BPAS intends to launch a not-for-profit fertility service in Spring 2021, to provide ethical, evidence based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS funded care.